NFL offensive linemen Matt Birk and Joe Thomas have spent their careers protecting teammates. Thanks to the league’s partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they can fight off something more dangerous than 300-pound tacklers.
While Birk of the Baltimore Ravens prepares himself for Super Bowl XLVII and the San Francisco 49ers, he can be heard promoting flu prevention on CDC’s YouTube channel.
“Protect yourself the way I did: Get vaccinated,” Birk said. “We get the flu vaccine to protect our teams and our families. Get your flu vaccine today. It’s a snap.”
According to reports published in January, the flu reached epidemic levels when 7.3 percent of deaths in the United States were attributed to pneumonia and the flu. CDC provides flu prevention resources on flu.gov, including a “vaccine finder” where users can find nearby clinics offering flu shots.
Thomas, who plays for the Cleveland Browns, is also featured in a CDC video.
“I don’t want to catch the flu,” Thomas said. “We get the flu vaccine to protect our team and our families. So should you. I got my flu vaccine. Would you get yours?”